Daily Archives: March 7, 2010

Biotech Firm to Close Doors, For Now

The Whig Standard, Canada
Ian Elliot       16.02.2010

A former Kingston high-tech darling has announced that it is shutting
down its Kingston operation for at least the next three months.

Performance Plants Inc., a biotech startup that was often seen as the
star of the city’s emerging knowledge-based sector, announced late
Friday that it was mothballing its Kingston operation for 13 weeks and
closing a research and development facility in New York State
permanently.

It cited economic reasons for the shutdown, saying that it continues
to produce scientific accomplishments but has had difficulty raising
enough money to bring those technologies to the market.

The company, which was housed in the former Norcom plant, is privately
held, not publicly traded, and said there was a limited amount of
private equity financing available in the market.

In Kingston, 29 employees are affected; the Waterloo, New York office
employed six staffers.

Company president and CEO Peter Matthewman said he hopes the company
can reopen in May with new financing.

Matthewman said a committee will be looking at alternate finance
options over the coming months and will make a recommendation to the
board of directors on which direction the company should proceed.

The company specialized in research in the area of genetically
modified crops
, treating them to increase yields, enhance frost
resistance and make them less susceptible to droughts.

Continue reading

The developing world embraces controversial technology

Feb 25th 2010 | NEW YORK | From The Economist print edition

A DECADE ago, after European activists whipped up lots of negative coverage about the perils of toying with nature, the future of genetically modified (GM) crops seemed uncertain. The technology was adopted by farmers in the rich world outside Europe, but poor countries seemed likely to be left behind. However, according to a report released on February 23rd by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit outfit that monitors the use of GM crops, the sector is blossoming, especially in the developing world, where poor and unproductive farmers have the most to gain from such advances.

Read more at The Economist

PS: good comments from this article…